Should we expose children to superheros

Do we expose children to Superhero's or not? There are conflicting views on this. Superhero-play, especially with little boys is inevitable. Totally banning them could lead to aggression in the long haul. In our household we have decided to introduce positive values as we guide and cheer on our adventurous little souls while they save the world from destruction and fight evil. I live with three superhero's, seven years and younger who go by distinguished names AB, Nicky and Merav. My youngest struts around creating webs at home in his blue and red Spidy costume (His latest birthday gift). He has hardly watched a spider man movie, but feels the part of a superhero. My oldest and middle child absolutely love their light saber battles. They have fostered deep friendship engaging in action-hero play and testing their physical limit. While my kids categorically love imitating larger than life characters, I do not take it lightly  that I am responsible to guide and advise them against trying out dangerous feats like jumping off buildings and walking into raging fire.

As my children enjoy this wave, I harness this passion through teachable moments and intentional discussions to introduce them to some real life superhero's like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Abraham Lincoln . Surprisingly the lil munchkins are curious to learn and all ears. I also prepare them to understand that a real life superhero can be some one ordinary with no special powers like their parents, teachers or next door neighbors.

Tips to foster healthy superhero play:

1. Explain to kids the difference between fantasy superhero's and real life heros

2. Help kids understand where to draw the lines when it comes to action play. Never to cross over to aggression and hostile language.

3. Allow them to enjoy an age appropriate superhero cartoon, but train them to stay grounded and not get lost in an imaginary world forever.

4. Show them the ropes to pick the good traits  like generosity, compassion, community help and chivalry from superhero's.

5. Enlighten them on life-skills: how to use power wisely while they learn to negotiate and cooperate, Identify right from wrong and fair from unfair.

 

As parents let's be a guiding force as kids' imagination soar up up and away!

Insight Into education in Dubai.

What ? The School Show 

When ? 29th and 30th April  2016

Timings ? 09:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Where? Dubai International Marine Club located next to Barasti 

Cost? It's FREE

The School Show is a new addition to the Dubai Nursery Show which has been running for the last three years. Its a bi-annual event taking place in April and then returning in October each year. The event is aimed at parents who are looking for information on nurseries and schools and it aims to take the stress out of decision making for parents weighing up options on curricular.  Parents can engage with teaching professionals and admissions staff from some of Dubai's top education  providers. The decision on which school to send your kids is one of the biggest financial and cultural decision parents can make. The School Show exists to support you and your family in that journey and offers the first education panel discussion with senior educators to answer your questions. Visitors are encouraged to pre-register to attend this free event online with a chance to enter the draw to win a prizes worth AED 3,500!

Entrance is free.

For more information about The School Show visit www.theschoolshow.ae 

Top 5 kid-friendly places to inculcate reading in Dubai

I have been giving much thought to inculcating active reading habits in my kids. This skill is really a gift that you can give your child. His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president of UAE and Ruler of Dubai has initiated a nationwide campaign via the hashtag #ReadingYear, to encourage reading among the young and with a hope to brainstorm ideas to encourage the same. His Highness Sheik Mohammed tweeted “Our aim is to develop a long-term strategy which makes reading a part of the culture, identity and life of our generations.“We look forward to the contribution of everyone who holds the UAE dear via the hashtag #ReadingYear, even if it is with just one idea". My idea is to start with every home in the UAE, to raise awareness, to cultivate the habit, and to spread the vision.

My top 5 findings

1. Public Library on Al Mankool road allows you to walk in and browse a book for free. They have a dedicated children's sections with a variety of English and Arabic books on offer.

Address and Contact  : Public Library on Al Mankool, Al Mankool Road, Dubai, 043277779

2. Dubai is a paradise for foodies, but not all spaces are child-friendly with kids amenities and children's menus.BookMunch a quaint cafe in Al Wasl square, offers a thought and tum provoking setting for a date with your young ones. With tables set up between the bookshelves, with the best collection for kids to fiction and best sellers, this is a perfect setting for story telling and book reading sessions paired with scrumptious food (flag to remember, some items are priced steep on the menu). Kids have a choice to curl up in a chair and enjoy a mouthwatering french toast or lay down on the rug under a book tent, making their reading time fun and entertaining. This is an enriching place to visit with the whole family and designed for kids. Whats amazing about this cafe that feeds the body and mind is the fact that it encourages and points young ones to a direction to discover the nearly lost art of reading books, while they enjoy their yummies. My boys absolutely love this place.

Address and Contact  : Book Munch Cafe, Wasl Square, Al Safa Dubai
042759066

 

3. Bookworm right off Jumeirah Beach road is a delightful space for young ones to dive into an adventure filled with story telling, puppet shows and young writers competitions.

Address and Contact  : Book worm, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, 043945770

4. If you are looking for literary budget finds for your little ones and  you have a way about the art of haggling,BookWorld is just the right place to head to. This treasure trove of pre-loved books, filled with books from floor to ceiling is tucked away in Satwa. It is not your perfect vision of an organized space, but is filled with interesting finds, for both young and old avid readers. 

Address and Contact  : Book World, shop# 5 and 6-10/4, Al Bada, Satwa, Dubai  04 3491914

5. Around the corner of my home i discovered Mellow Yellow which boasts of a library cafe scene. They do have a dedicated reading corner with shelves of books, however i must add that it is not a sprawling selection for kids to dive into. You could bring your own or just settle for the selection here as the setting is perfect for family and kids to unwind over a cuppa and a good read

Address and Contact  :  Mellow Yellow, Up Town Mirdif Mall, Mirdif

A Zoo-tiful day at Al Tamimi's Hero Petting Farm

bunny Cocoon to Butterfly kids kicked off their summer break in Dubai, by visiting the regions largest indoor edutainment venue in Modhesh World, Dubai. The highlight of their visit was petting and feeding the most beloved animals at Al Tamimi Stables Animal Care Hero Petting Farm . It was indeed a real fun and unique experience! The lil love-bugs got all soppy as they fed and stroked the animals. The area featured rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ducklings, tortoises, baby goats as well as a parakeet, iguana and ball python snake. Children are constantly learning from their environment and this visit demonstrated how children got to practice development skills and social competencies such as caring, justice and empathy in a relatively short animal interaction time.

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Our lil hero’s also learned about the environment in a fun and interactive way with Al Tamimi’s pot planting Green Hero activity. At their activity, the children were given the opportunity to explore and care for plant life. They got to take home the plant they potted, which gives them the opportunity to watch it grow over time.

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At the AL Tamimi pottery painting area, the lil-wiggles got to unleash their creative side. The area featured a selection of paint and ceramics which included mugs, egg-holders, bowls, cupcakes and much more to choose from. Our wiz-kids let their creative spirit take over while designing their masterpiece, which they brought back home.  The area also features a gift shop where wooden toys and animal gifts are available for purchase as a keepsake.

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children in this era live in a virtual world. They have few opportunities for contact with the natural world and to explore the free-range outdoor and creative play. Places such as Al Tamimi’s petting farm, Green Hero activity, and Pottery painting gives children the opportunity to reclaim the magic and the joy of exploring their natural world and animal planet.

If your kids enjoy these activities and you would like to inculcate in them the thrill of watching a bird, stroking a bunny, finding a turtle and feeding a goat, then head to this location.

 

  • Where: Al Tamimi stables, Modhesh World, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
  • Date: July 9th to August 29th 2015
  • Day and Time: 9 am to midnight from Saturday to Wednesday and 9 am to 1 am on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Price: Each activity priced at AED 20 per person
  • More Information: https://www.facebook.com/AlTamimiStables
  • Contact: +971 50 554 9915/ getintouch@tamimistables.com

 

 

*photo credit: N03/5994991505">Rabbit via photopin (license)

Imagination sets sail with Kidzania

IMG_5947IMG_5942 'Cocoon to Butterfly' kids had the privilege of being welcomed to the simulated mini-world of Kidzania at Dubai Mall, where they lived their dreams out through interactive role-play.

This edutainment venue is a city scaled down to children’s size. It mirrors the working of a real world, complete with services and facilities from; banks, hospital, police stations, fire station, shopping area, eatery, radio station and more.

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The experience for the kids started with an airport style check in counter, where each child was issued a boarding pass and bank cheque for 50 kidZos (local currency of Kidzania). They entered through the departure gate and exchanged their cheque for kidZos at a local bank following which they set out to find a career. The kids were advised that the kidZos could be used to buy goods and services or even save in their bank account in KidZania, which provides them with an ATM card. They could earn and collect more kidZos by working in an establishment.

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Each child got to adorn uniforms which reflect the nature of their chosen career. Roles included working as a cashier in a supermarket, RJ in a radio station, piloting a commercial airline, dentist, firefighter, police and much more. Most activities are aimed at 4-14-year-olds, yet my 3-year-old found enough activities to keep him busy. I noticed toddlers are not left out as a dedicated Urbano’s Residence, which features rooms and specially designed activities awaited them. Each activity was age appropriate and could accommodate small groups of 6 to 8 kids in safe surroundings. I was at complete ease and reassured of safety as each child was made to wear an electronic bracelet for tracking purpose.

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Kidzania is not a fantasy world, but best described as a ‘World of its own’. It boasts of it's very own currency called ‘kidZos’, informal greeting called ‘Kai’, ‘Zanks’ substituted for thanks and activities supervised by a team of 300 multi-cultural professionals called ‘Zupervisors’. The 'B-KidZanian' loyalty program allows kids to get naturalized into KidZania Residents and receive the benefits during each visit. With 50 ‘establishments’ (local and international brands represented within) and 90 different roles to choose, kids learn real life skills and money management in the process of pretend-play.

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All in all, Kidzania provides the perfect experiential learning platform with a creative concept that allows kids to don roles they dream about. It was a pleasure to watch the kids soak up the awe-inspiring experience.

As the mercury rises and school break runs on full throttle, are you looking for options for your kids to be cooled off and entertained? I am not referring to kids staying cooped up in the house and digitally wired up. Are you seeking activities that are fun, unique and educational? Kidzania offers precisely that.  To make the best of Kidzania and other kids entertainment venues this season, I recommend purchasing the 'Dubai Summer Pass'.

  • The Dubai Summer Pass - Save AED 190!
  • Was AED 440, now AED 250

The pass entitles guests to visit the following attractions from the 23rd July-5th September

  • Kidzania1x child ticket (adults are Free)
  • Reel Cinemas2 x standard ticket for adults or children
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo1 x ticket for an adult or child
  • The SEGA Republic1 x ticket for an adult or child + receive 100 credits to use
  • Dubai Ice Rink1 x ticket for an adult or child

Passes are available for purchase online at www.dubaisummerpass.com and at each attraction in Dubai mall. Visit the KidZania Dubai website for more details.